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Fiction, Literary Ramblings and Thoughts, News Worthy, Other Musings, Why Not?

Don’t Like How the Ending Turns Out? Maybe You Can Change It…

I do not own one of those Nooks, Kindles, e-readers whatever all of them are called so you can download a zillion books and read them whenever you want to.  I’m sure I’ll fold sooner or later and get one.  Maybe.

Let me preface this by saying:  All of you great writers that have published an e-book (I ghostwrote one on chemical-free living several years ago) I applaud you.  You rock and if some e-publisher said to me, “Brigitte, I want to publish your book and I’m going to pay you and you’ll make X amount of royalties,” I would go for it.  I would do it.  I’ve not queried any of these, but Carrie has and she’s about to be published.  She also shared how writers can do this from one of her latest posts.  Thank you, Carrie, I’m going to look into this.  Another, blogger that I follow, Honie Briggs has written an e-book.  I admire these gifted writers and I know alot of talent and effort went into their being published.

That’s not what this post is about.  It’s about a little snippet I saw on one of those morning programs that gives its audience stories from wars that are going on the world to how to make-the-best-sangria-to-impress-your-friends-at-your-next-soiree-or-beach-party-in-20-seconds-or-less-while-wearing-spanx-juggling-a-career-home-and-personal enlightenment-to-become-the-best-person-you-can-possibly-be-and-whatever-choices-you-make-in-order-to-do-all-of-this-to-get-you-where-you-need-to-be-is-okay-okay-okay.

Speed Watching

Most of you have watched these programs.  Each “story” is limited to about three (five, if we’re lucky) minutes from everything on how to parent to how to plan for your financial future.  Obviously, we all have the attention span of a gnat, so they have to rush information along to cram it all into their segmented time.  While those snippets of information are going on, we also see, sometimes in the corner of the screen, what’s coming up! in case we become bored in those precious few minutes.  But, I’m getting off the subject here.

You’re Being Monitored – ?

This brief segment on e-readers this morning was about the advantages and disadvantages of reading books on these devices.  Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple and Google have ways in which they can track how people read on these spiffy tablets.  They can monitor what a reader likes or dislikes in a book by the way readers highlight info, makes notes and share that info with others.  The guy who presented this information said there’s a way to dislodge this tracking but it’s really complicated to do.

The question was brought up that some of these publishers are taking this information and can begin to dictate how an author writes.  Here’s what an article from Chicago Tribune says:

Oooh, omg, I just saw a butterfly. I think that should be in the ending. And a vampire. And a zombie.

“Digital publishers are now tracking how fast their books are being read and which sections are skipped or highlighted. Barnes and Noble tracks its Nook e-readers to find out which genres are favored and by whom. Amazon, which is both a retailer and a publisher, is especially diligent about gathering data and, some authors fear, may even start telling authors whether the endings to their books work for readers or should be rewritten. Since Nook readers are found to be impatient with overlong nonfiction books, the company has launched Nook Snaps — shorter works in which journalists probe more focused topics of contemporary interest. The advantage of the digital-book business is that it is dominated by three companies — Amazon, Apple and Google — and book apps give them reliable maps of reader interest.”

I don’t know about you but I don’t like someone dictating how my book should turn out just because a certain demographic (which demographic do they get this information from — how to they cull all this info in order to find out what is good and what isn’t??) says they don’t like how this character handled a situation.

The author determines that and I’ve read great books where I thought it was going to go one way and it went an entirely different way.  I’ve been disappointed in the ending before, but that’s okay.  It made me feel something.  That’s the whole twists, turns, pacing, story, plotline, dialogue and element of surprise that a writer has a right to do — manipulate, engage and entertain the reader.  I understand that an editor may advise a writer to rewrite a section or do something to a character in order for it to flow better.  But, a bunch of readers, from their highlights and comments, determining that?

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like that.

Now, I sound like my mother.  “In my day, things were like this or that.”  I’m open to new technology and embracing new things to make our lives better.  But some things are sacred and an author’s right to write, to mold characters into living, breathing people of our imaginations and determine how they end up should be entirely up to the person who creates them — the one who sweats, agonizes and pulls all that out from their own mind’s eye.  It should not be dictated by Billy or Cindy or OMG Buffy or anyone else that doesn’t like this or that.

All the pretty colors…omg

Do the little icons and half-heart symbols they insert in their comments mean something too?  What about their tweets or facebook rants and raves about a book — will publishers take that into account and then tell the author, I’m sorry you’re going to have to change the ending because 108.275 out of 225.225 did not like the ending??

Creative License

Let’s all march to the beat of the same drum cause that’s so much more interesting…
Photo: Pink Floyd, The Wall

If you’ve had the patience to read to the end of this post — thank you.  I know it’s way too long because blog posts “should be between 300 to 700 words” and I’m past that now.  So I’ll stop and go get my book with the pages where I can read the jacket that gives me a synopsis of what I’m about to read and then read the blurb about the person who wrote it and the acknowledgements.  Yeah, I’m that big of a nerd — I read all that.  I figure if they’ve taken the time to WRITE A BOOK to entertain me, I can give them the respect to read a snippet of how they did it.  If I want to highlight or take notes, then I’ll do it with my little sticky things and wow, a notepad.  And, no one will know how I feel about it because it’s really none of their damn business.

***

Educate me, please — those of you who have taken advantage of this new kind of publishing.  What do you think?  Do you like the idea of the public dictating how you end a book?  Please share and forgive me if I got it wrong, I was educated about this within a matter of minutes. :).

About Brigitte

Writer/Editor/Wanderer

Discussion

79 thoughts on “Don’t Like How the Ending Turns Out? Maybe You Can Change It…

  1. I find it as disturbing as you do. Imagine telling Shakespeare that Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be should be happier?

    Posted by on thehomefrontandbeyond | July 11, 2012, 11:25 am
    • Exactly! I don’t like this idea at all. Smacks of censorship I bit, I think or maybe I’m “reading” way too much into this 3-minute segment I saw. :).

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 11:30 am
  2. Dear Brigitte, I’m completely on board with you. I’ve had a “big brother is watching” feeling about all the “advances” in technology for some time, and I confess to being a little paranoid about having my e-mail tracked to determine what kind of advertisements Google should feature on my e-mail screen. In my own way I make it as difficult as possible, with my limited technical knowledge, to track me.

    I don’t like having my privacy invaded, either as a reader or as a writer. And while those gadgets do appear seductive when you don’t have to carry books around when on the subway or traveling, at this point giving up my privacy to do so makes it a no starter. To put it quite bluntly, in my opinion this amounts to intellectual rape, and I don’t like it. I prefer to share whatever intellect I have by my own choice.

    I’m looking forward to reading what others have to offer on this subject – thanks for bringing it up! xoM

    Posted by Margarita | July 11, 2012, 11:42 am
    • I know, M. Maybe I don’t know enough about it and like I said, I admire those writers who have the talent that gets those e-publishers to publish their work. But this seems to be crossing a line to me. I’m looking forward to the comments as well if people can read to the end of the LONGGGGGG post. Thank you for doing so and as always, your comments are so thoughtful and insightful.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 11:48 am
      • Not all of us buy into the ADD thing, Brigitte, so your post was just the right number of words. I think there’s undue emphasis on gnat-like attention spans as a vehicle to cram more and more into our lives, instead of allowing ourselves to simply BE and enjoy the quality of what we have. But that’s another topic. I’ll be back for the comments later! :)

        Posted by Margarita | July 11, 2012, 11:54 am
  3. Well, now, you’ve managed to completely frighten me. Who knew someone was monitoring the notes I take and passages I highlight on my iPad Kindle? I’m usually pretty laid back about that kind of thing, but that’s just plain creepy. As for someone dictating how I write my endings? I can’t imagine anyone caring enough about my books to do so. :)

    Hey, thanks for the mention, Missy. Very kind of you. :)

    Posted by Carrie Rubin | July 11, 2012, 11:45 am
    • By the way, are you on Twitter? I’d like to send out a tweet linking to this post. It’s a good one. Even if you’re not, I can still send a shout out.

      Posted by Carrie Rubin | July 11, 2012, 11:48 am
      • I’m not, Carrie. Should I be? Would that bring more readers? Sure, go ahead if you believe it’s Tweet-worthy and I’ll take all the shout-outs I can get and thank you, friend. :).

        Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 11:51 am
      • Being on Twitter will not change your life, so I think you’re okay with not joining it. :) But I am going to send out a tweet linking to this post. It might land you one extra reader. Whoopee!!

        Posted by Carrie Rubin | July 11, 2012, 12:36 pm
    • Hey Carrie, you’re most welcome. I know it is freakin’ scary and I don’t like it. It’s the same thing about how your cell phone has a tracking system on it and there’s a way to disengage it. I’ve toyed with the option of buying one because there so much lighter, but I don’t like anyone reading my thoughts about something. Thanks for taking the time to comment — from someone who has gone this route — I so appreciate your input.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 11:50 am
  4. I would HATE having a reader tell me how to do my ending. For an author, it completely undermines everything you’ve done up to that point. There have been plenty of books where I’ve wished it had a different ending, but that’s what the author did and I can sort of write a new ending in my head. But to expect an author to write an ending based on general consensus? That’s nuts. No. Uh-uh. Nix.

    Posted by Madame Weebles | July 11, 2012, 11:59 am
  5. There’s a book called “The Filter Bubble” by Eli Pariser. On the back it says “In this devastating expose of internet giants such as Google and Facebook, we are given a glimpse of the secretive world that lies behind the Windows pane. Companies are covertly gathering data on each of us and then using that data to make decisions about what we like, who we talk to and how we think. The Filter Bubble is the first book to reveal the hidden ‘net’ inside which each of us is trapped.” I haven’t read it – I don’t want nightmares. Joe’s 19 year old has and she says it’s scary! What you are writing about Brigitte is an extension of this theme I’m sure. Frightening. :)

    Posted by floatingwiththebreeze | July 11, 2012, 12:12 pm
    • Oh great, another thing to keep me up at night. (just kidding). I’ve not heard of this book, Teresa and maybe I’ll go with your tactic. Ignorance is bliss, sometimes. Thank you for your comment, lady — much appreciated. (And for taking the time to read to the end). :).

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 12:14 pm
  6. Here, here! I can’t buy one of those things. I need pages and paper and smell and texture. As for the endings issue, that’s disgraceful! Most readers are not writers and should have no say in how a book is written. I think we need to change Dali’s paintings, that clock doesn’t look right. I hated the ending for “Edgar Sawtelle” but so what? It’s not my work but because the book is so beautiful and has, in my opinion, a crappy ending….I will never forget it. I could go on and on but you get the drift.

    Thank you for a thought provoking post!

    Posted by Maggie O'C | July 11, 2012, 12:14 pm
    • Maggie, I know! It is disgraceful…where does it end if we begin that? Where? As you said, art, literature and more. You’re most welcome — thanks for reading.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 12:17 pm
  7. I only use my Kindle app for the free classics. I prefer a book in my hands, turning the pages, smelling that intoxicating book smell. I find this whole demographics changing book endings thing creepy and sad. When I read a book I want what the author has to give me, not what the publisher thinks I was to read. Booooooooo!

    Posted by Fish Out of Water | July 11, 2012, 12:37 pm
    • I know, creepy and sad it is. I’m not in the know about e-readers, but free classics sound cool. Thanks, Fish.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 12:39 pm
      • fyi… you can read free classics right on your computer, Brigitte. Do a search and you’ll find there are hundreds available. No need for an e-reader for that!

        Posted by finally_write | July 11, 2012, 1:25 pm
      • Thanks, Sue! I swear I think reading on the computer is affecting my eyesight. That and age. :).

        Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 1:30 pm
      • Well, that is surely the biggest reason why I probably won’t go to e-reading… my eyes kill me by day’s end from my time on the computer as it is; the last thing I’d do is stare at a screen to read a book as well. I pick up a book to BREAK AWAY from the computer for a while!

        Posted by finally_write | July 11, 2012, 1:34 pm
  8. Brigitte, Interesting post!! Confession: I love my Kindle. I recently bonded with it. Confession 2: I received it as a gift two years ago! Yes, it took awhile. I like its weight. Plus, turning pages is easy, breezy. That said, I still purchase hard copies of my non-fiction research books. I’m a page flipper! And I love images. T. (Horrible news about the endings. Folks still sore about the “Pretty in Pink” ending change! Sigh.)

    Posted by Theadora | July 11, 2012, 12:57 pm
    • Hi T. Again, I am totally ignorant of these gadgets and would probably like them as well. I am a page-flipper too. And what, what? What’s this about Pretty in Pink? I do not understand of what you speak…..of.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 1:00 pm
      • Ah, without giving too much away, here’s the low-down on PIP. It was a film created by John Hughes and Howard Deutch, showcasing Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy. Let’s not forget James Spader Filmed back in the 1980s, it now has a cult following. Focus groups hated the original ending, so the studio changed it. Folks still complain about it. The topic occasionally comes up at wine-fueled dinner parties! The film has a great sound track! T.

        Posted by Theadora | July 11, 2012, 2:02 pm
      • Yes, I know about the movie. I didn’t know that the original ending was changed. Ummm. That’s a bit of trivia I’ll store away. Thanks, T. :). You gotta love those wine-fueled dinner parties. :D

        Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 2:10 pm
  9. Scary and great points you raise!

    Posted by i mayfly | July 11, 2012, 1:25 pm
  10. I used to work in cyber security and nothing has made me more paranoid than that line of work. There are things I just don’t want to know. For a techie person, I take advantage of very little of the latest technology for exactly the reason that the trade off is a loss of privacy. Give me the glue-bound, faded pages of a physical book any day over an e-book. And, yet, if you or I were ever to publish, it’s most likely we’d be forced into an e-book solution as publisher after publisher is moving in this direction.

    Posted by finally_write | July 11, 2012, 1:31 pm
    • Then you know a great deal more about this subject than I do. That’s why I wrote it — so people like yourself could maybe tell me if I’m right or just being too paranoid about this. I too would rather hold and read a book any day. But, you’re right…as I stated in the beginning, I would publish this way if someone paid me to do so, but popular opinion gleaned from comments from various readers as to the ending, that I would have a problem with. Thanks, Sue. I wish you’d write about this kind of thing — cyber security…I think many would be interested.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 1:36 pm
      • I simply don’t enjoy the level of hyper-vigilance I have when I focus on the topic too much. There is no end to who can and who does exploit the average person. I’d like to say that the news reports on this sort of thing are exaggerated, but really not so much. And yet you can argue that yes, lots of data is being collected, perhaps so much that the actual useful processing of it is too overwhelming. Pieces of info are certainly being collected on us all. I like the idea of minimizing my exposure because one day they all may get their acts together enough to know too much collectively about all of us.

        Posted by finally_write | July 11, 2012, 1:53 pm
  11. I don’t know anything about the publishing stuff but I do know that

    make-the-best-sangria-to-impress-your-friends-at-your-next-soiree-or-beach-party-in-20-seconds-or-less-while-wearing-spanx-juggling-a-career-home-and-personal enlightenment-to-become-the-best-person-you-can-possibly-be-and-whatever-choices-you-make-in-order-to-do-all-of-this-to-get-you-where-you-need-to-be-is-okay-okay-okay.

    Is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. Cracking me up. Bravo.

    Posted by Simon | July 11, 2012, 3:10 pm
  12. Lately I’ve seriously been considering getting a Kindle. A lot of the books I read for classes cost me money but they’re free on the Kindle. But if I do get a Kindle, I’d definitely buy the book as cheap as I could first, and if I liked it I’d buy the hard copy later. I do see the advantage in having multiple books in such a compact format, especially for traveling…
    That’s really creepy. I don’t want somebody stalking what parts I read and what parts I skip! I mean, writers should write what they want, not what everybody else wants. With everything that we have (Facebook, Twitter, etc) it seems like it’s getting harder to really have any privacy. Whoever thought of this idea should be shot. That might be a little extreme, but just stop! haha you know what I mean?

    Posted by Emi | July 11, 2012, 3:45 pm
    • I most definitely see the advantage of them, especially for what you’re talking about, Emi. And yeah, I know what you mean. Thanks Emi, your comments are always appreciated and I’m sure you’re much more of an expert at this kind of social media than I am. That’s what so great — getting all these kinds of opinions!

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 3:58 pm
  13. Great post! I’m with you 100%. Writer’s should have the freedom of creating whatever environment they want to create, and editors should stick to editing/advising not dictating. I wish I was born earlier in time so I could say “Back in my day, things were….” haha. Although, I openly embrace technology and use it daily, I feel it has made manipulating things (for good and for worse) way too easy.

    Posted by Ahmed | July 11, 2012, 3:58 pm
    • Thank you, Ahmed! I agree and editors have some say over a writer’s work. That’s what they DO for a living and are “experts” as are the writers that write. But changing an ending because of readers wanting a writer to do so, well, maybe not so much. Thank you for your insightful comment.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 4:01 pm
  14. Wow, what a great post (I think…I didn’t make it to the end. Heh ;))! This never even occurred to me (that they’d be monitoring how fast we read something, what we skip, etc.), although now I feel like it should have. I definitely don’t like the idea that this could change how a book is written… but it makes sense for websites re: marketing, etc. if they want to have more effective copy.

    Posted by Go Jules Go | July 11, 2012, 4:08 pm
    • Ooh, omg, Jules, would you like, when you have an extra minute or two, read to the end, then like highlight the sections you don’t like, make notes and like share with your Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pininterest and other stuff I have no idea about and then like let me know what sections of my post I should rewrite and make it better and make the ending more suitable to the masses, like would you do that, like seriously???!!!! (wink, wink, nudge, smile, hearts) ;).

      Seriously, though, I agree with making copy more effective on websites for marketing and such I guess, to an extent, but fiction and a good writer deciding on the ending and then having it changed because a group of people thinks this or that ending would be better. No. uh-uh. No way.

      Thanks, Jules — I so appreciate your comments and seriously, like when will you send me your highlights and notes????!!!! omg. ;)

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 5:49 pm
  15. Telling the author what to write to please the readers would be like telling Van Gogh not to put too many stars in the sky in his painting, Starry Night. It’s wrong because it assumes that the art of writing is about making $$ rather than telling great stories. If an artist/writer is motivated by making money their work is gonna suck anyway. The only motivation to write is because you have to, because the words pour out of you. You have to love it, you can be self critical and a little tortured, but in the end it has to be for the love of writing.
    Great post!

    Posted by A Gripping Life | July 11, 2012, 4:29 pm
    • Hi Grippy, I SO agree with you!! And yes, writing is about writing (although writers do like to make money as well) but someone dictating how they should because groups of people decide otherwise, NO. Good analogy btw. Thank you and thanks for getting where I’m coming from.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 5:51 pm
  16. Man, I haven’t done this, but I’d be outraged if some faceless blob told me to change the ending of my book because people who HAVEN’T READ IT YET don’t like the ending. Since when do people know what they want? And how can the possibly predict things like that? I wouldn’t do it.

    Posted by supashmo | July 11, 2012, 5:01 pm
  17. Oh, I have learned so much I didn’t know from this post. I had no idea that someone was tracking my reading interests on my lovely little Kindle-Scary! I also didn’t know that a typical blog post should be between 300 and 500 words. I apparently have some serious issues :(

    Posted by Life and all things love | July 11, 2012, 5:44 pm
  18. Nice, informative post Brigitte. I had no idea the tools on e-readers were used track data.
    A couple of things: ) I didn’t start out to publish in e-book version; my book is also in paperback, mainly because I was intimidated by e-publishing until I learned how easy it is to format and upload, but also because I love to have a book in my hands. I like to feel the pages and dog-ear them and sometimes make notes in the margins.

    Something else, originally I had left the ending more open-ended, to let readers imagine what they would have done or to wonder what happened next. I wrote the last page specifically for my sisters, but when my dad read the proof copy he said that even though the story held his interest all the way through, he expected the end to wrap everything up, he needed closure. So, I did some tweaking that I think is a nice compromise. I would NEVER have done that for anyone except my dad, and certainly not for some publisher or focus group and especially not based on data from e-readers.
    Thanks for sharing this information and as always for kindly including me in your post.

    Posted by Honie Briggs | July 11, 2012, 6:11 pm
    • Hi Honie — thank you. As I said, I’m ignorant of this but you and Carrie both have written e-books and they’re published! And that’s cool that you left it open-ended. You know, sometimes I’ve seen movies with “alternate endings.” But the thought of a publisher telling you, you have to change the ending (or whatever) simply because they’ve tracked and monitored and decided from some group that it should be changed, well no. I totally get your changing because of your Dad’s wishes. Thank you for sharing your comments — you have far more knowledge about this industry than I do.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 6:17 pm
      • I really don’t know enough. Trends in publishing are changing, old brick and mortar publishing houses are just realizing how much of their market share is going to e-publishing and I think there will continue to be a lot of this sort of sifting of information, and I guess, data mining until they figure it out. Only from my, very small, point of view can I say it seems if industry tries to contain art in a cash register, it’s a good thing I’m not in it for the money. : )

        Posted by Honie Briggs | July 11, 2012, 6:29 pm
  19. I recently got a Kindle, and I do enjoy it. I wondered if eye strain would be a problem, but the e-ink is comfortable on the eyes, and you can adjust the font size.

    As for how I read books and them tracking me? Oh, boy. They’re probably going to be disappointed in me. I don’t highlight or make notes. :) And I haven’t written a review when I’ve reached the end of the book. When you’re about to leave the last page, a menu pops up asking you to do so. But I’d rather have time to think about the book before sending out a review. I’m probably one of the statistical outliers they’ll throw out.

    And other than a couple mysteries, most everything I’ve downloaded has been a free classic. I don’t think Agatha Christie or Feodor Dostoyevsky will be rewriting any of their books very soon…. ;)

    Technology allows us to track nearly everything. But there’s an old adage that I think still applies—garbage in, garbage out. The microanalyses the internet big boys are doing could easily result in—meaningless results. And applying those results to their marketing strategy might lead them to create a modern-day Edsel. Which is what some call the Kindle Fire.

    Posted by jmmcdowell | July 11, 2012, 8:03 pm
    • Thanks, JM. I don’t have any e-readers so I don’t know. But I agree with you about garbage in, garbage out. I don’t even know what the Kindle Fire is, but thanks so much for your comment. I do hope no one will “rewrite” any classic’s endings. So appreciate your comment…I’ve learned alot! :).

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 9:18 pm
      • Kindle Fire is Amazon’s “tablet” to compete with the iPad and such. A lot of people think its design and functionality missed the boat. I have a Kindle Touch, which has some web capabilities, but is really an e-reader first and foremost.

        Posted by jmmcdowell | July 11, 2012, 9:25 pm
  20. I’m like JM–don’t highlight or review until I’ve had days to think and ponder on my views. Loved your post though–very interesting that they could track all that. I have a kindle, but do most of my reading still in hard copies (I truly love a book in hand, and the kindle doesn’t thrill me…except for how cheap I can get some books now that I couldn’t before).

    Posted by char | July 11, 2012, 9:55 pm
    • See, I don’t know all this. Cheap is good. But then again, I go to the library where it’s free. Thanks, Char. I so admire those who are more technology-savvy than I am. That’s why I wrote this — to get this info! Thank you. :)

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 10:11 pm
  21. Such scary news, especially since I had no idea prior to reading your post! As to the whole “writers rewriting their endings” thing, I really think it’s because there are just too many writers out there who not only want to get published but also become “the next big thing” that creativity is kind of getting shunted aside in favor of selling more books and making more money. I don’t know if it’s just me being cynical or what, but I just feel like too many people are compromising themselves (and their work) to try and hit it big. I know I’m only responding to one bit of your post so I’m gonna stop before this turns into a full-blown rant. ;)

    Btw, I totally facepalmed about the apparent fact that “blog posts should be between 300 and 700 words.” Excuse me while I go off and brood about my failure to be a good/real blogger.

    Posted by lillianccc | July 11, 2012, 10:09 pm
    • Ha! I know, it scared me too. I had no idea and I guess some writers may be doing that — trying to get published no matter what, but maybe they’ve been turned down so much, they’re willing to do whatever. I just don’t like the fact that a writer has to compromise their creativity or voice in order to satisfy a “popular vote” which may not be coming from the readers they wish to reach. And I’m like you, obviously I need to brush up on the rules of the proper word count for blogs. Thank you, Lillian. :) But anytime you want to rant, go for it — I welcome your rants. :D

      Posted by Brigitte | July 11, 2012, 10:15 pm
  22. I love this post and your thoughts on it. You go get ‘em girl!

    Posted by dianasschwenk | July 11, 2012, 10:21 pm
  23. This is interesting and terrifying all at the same time. Interesting in a way that I marvel at our technology and how it is socially affecting us. Terrifying in the way that this technology is socially affecting us! The idea of writing a story a certain way because that is what I’m told will sell is awful- I’m not sure I’d want to write if that were the case. Writing is about living this story out from your mind to the paper (actually, to the computer)…and having people like you enjoy it Brigitte. Thanks for loving physical books still!

    Posted by emahadeo | July 11, 2012, 11:19 pm
    • Hi Elizabeth, I agree! You’ve put it so eloquently. I do love physical books. I know that you’ve done both — e-books and books with your children’s series. So I really appreciate your input so much.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 9:46 am
  24. I could not agree more with you Brigitte. It is a bit unnerving the way everything is manipulated. i am not paranoid about the advertizing and such . It is a personal choice. However– dumbing down(nonfiction) society and allowing readers to choose their ending? Changing what the author writes? That is a SIN. Authors choose words and meanings for a reason and no one should be f^&%ing with that.
    Secondly I sincerely hope that e-readers continue to be a SECOND choice to print versions. I think they are handy devices for those that want to read them but they should in no way be replacing published print. The damn market is driving this unfortunately– There will be no preservation of the written word if it goes all electronic. I am with Maggie O on this too. I love the print. Of course I live in the library– I love getting lost in the stacks and seeing the new shiny books coming in. Ok I rambling here.. but as you can see I am old school. There is nothing better than seeing a person laying on the floor of the library getting lost in the pages of a book…
    Great post Ms. B

    Posted by unfetteredbs | July 12, 2012, 4:07 am
    • Hi Audra, I so agree with you! Why dumb down anything, right? I can understand the reason for e-readers — they are convenient for long trips, etc. That wasn’t what this was about, but when I read that article in the Chicago Tribune and it was mentioned on a morning show television program, I thought that was very disturbing. And the mental image you gave me — laying on the floor getting lost in the pages of the book — that was me my entire life. I LOVE libraries. I frequent them often and I’m like you, I’m old school when it comes to reading. Thanks so much for your comments.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 9:49 am
  25. I’m with you and most other people who commented on your post today : there’s nothing better than a real book with pages and covers to make me feel happy to read! although I also understand (as a traveller myself) the need of a traveller to use a kindle to keep on enjoying reading while on the road, withough the weight of the book. But being monitored and possibly be the reason why someone would tell an author who’s already put all they had and imagination to satisfy our curiosity how it all should end because someone likes or doesn’t like the way another similar story ended, NO WAY!
    About changing the stories in the good ways, and completely funny writing, have you read “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde? It’s absolutely witty and crazy!

    Let’s go back to our real books!

    Posted by Les Petits Pas de Juls | July 12, 2012, 11:22 am
    • Hi Julie — nice to hear from you and thank you so much — you always leave such nice and inspiring comments. It’s kind of scary but maybe this is the way it’s becoming…I love books and thanks so much for your recommendation. I’m going to try to find it my library. Nothing better than a great, good laugh and witty writing. LOVE IT. Thanks so much. :).

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 11:39 am
      • You’re welcome! hope you enjoy it; it’s a series, though, I can’t wait for the 6th to come out this month! crazyness when you get hold of us… I’m currently reading “The Tree Musketeers,” by Alexandre Dumas, a french classic : it’s just SO GOOD to read a book with pages! I’ll stick to it : I don’t want to be part of “Farenheit 451″ or even the end of the paged book. touching is part of the pleasure, right?! :-)

        Posted by Les Petits Pas de Juls | July 12, 2012, 12:04 pm
      • You are so right, sister, so right. :D

        Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 12:10 pm
  26. This is a disturbing notion, and will likely come to pass. We’ve already seen it happen in movies and television, where ideas are kicked around by non-creative types. Years ago, my girlfriend at the time was working for a screenwriter whose movie (her first) was being produced by a Hollywood heavy-hitter. Her beautiful story was ruined by committees of suits (“Kids like fart jokes. We need a fart joke in here.”–Actual suit quote). Fortunately, most people never saw it.

    But at the same time, producers are only going to have so much control over the product. There are still independently made movies, after all. And because there are so many new avenues available to writers to publish their work, there will always be a place for those who want to remain independent.

    And as far as designing a book to fit its readership, I’m not so sure that we don’t have that now to a limited extent with some of today’s best-sellers.

    Posted by Smaktakula | July 12, 2012, 2:33 pm
    • Hi Smak, sorry about that thing with your girlfriend — that sounds awful. I see your point though, I suppose best-sellers do reflect what readers want, but as far as I know seasoned editors advise an author, not groups of people, but then again, I could be wrong…. Thanks for the comment!!

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 2:51 pm
  27. I may not have been clear–it wasn’t my GFs film, she was only the assistant to the screenwriter. In fact, she was a SECRET assistant to a screenwriter. This is how crazy Hollywood is. The screenwriter (who was a very nice woman who, although this was her first movie, had been making money as a screenwriter for years–not sure how) had carpal tunnel, so she couldn’t type. She would dictate to my gf (who got to throw in suggestions from time to time; the villain in the movie’s name is eerily similar to mine), who would type the story. But the crazy thing is that the screenwriter was afraid (legitimately, it seems) that if anyone ever found out she couldn’t type for herself, she would be done in Hollywood.

    Posted by Smaktakula | July 12, 2012, 2:57 pm
    • Well that’s terrible! What diff does it make if she couldn’t type? Is a secret assistant like a secret agent without the dangerous part. ;) I don’t think I’d like HW. Things turn out the way they do for a reason. At least, that’s how I believe. :). Thanks, Smak.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 3:10 pm
  28. Brigitte,
    I don’t really care when I am being asked how someone’s story should end… As long as there is a “scratch & Sniff” sticker on the inside of the book (sorry ebook, you’ll never have me as a reader, unless there’s an APP for that), Le Clown will buy you, even better if you smell like blue-flavoured Slush Puppie.
    Le Clown

    Posted by clownonfire | July 12, 2012, 5:16 pm
    • Umm, Le Clown I think you have something here. Although I prefer Fushia-colored slush puppies.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 12, 2012, 5:20 pm
      • Brigtte,
        I raise my tongue-dying Slush Puppie drink to you. This is how I end my comment.
        Le Clown

        Posted by clownonfire | July 12, 2012, 5:21 pm
  29. As if you’re not busy enough Brigitte I’ve only gone and tagged you ;)

    Don’t feel obligated to take part, but, if you do, your list of probing questions are here ;)

    http://the-view-outside.com/2012/07/13/playing-tag/

    Xx

    Posted by Vikki (The View Outside) | July 13, 2012, 2:07 am
  30. I once saw the title of an article with the words ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Kindle.’ I didn’t read the article, but only glazed over the title and stored it in the back of my mind. Your post has enlightened me. Thank you. I also appreciated reading the comments on the subject, which makes an interesting debate. I published my book on Kindle because it was free, but I don’t have one. I am a Luddite who hates being pushed into buying technology that becomes outdated after six months. However, I should buy one since my book is on it. I think it would somehow help my credibility factor, or help to bolster support for the product so-to-speak. I also want to support other Kindle writers who have bought my book. Despite the shortcomings and intrusions, etc., the Kindle, like other technology has been marketed so effectively, that most of us will end up getting one.

    Posted by Sword-chinned bitch | July 13, 2012, 7:42 pm
    • Hey there! I never read the article you’re referring to, but now I want to. Let me first say, congrats on being published! I so admire you for that as I’ve not even finished my book. What prompted the post was just a snippet on a morning show and then I dug a little and realized the Chicago Tribune had published the same thing (and I consider them a reputable source). As I mentioned, if an e-publisher wanted me to publish my book through those channels, I most certainly would! I would be like you and buy one — an e-reader. And, I think you’re right, I too will most likely succumb. Congrats for getting published — I certainly admire a writer who does that and thank you so much for your comment and for stopping by to do so. Welcome!! Coming from someone who has done it, is there and knows more about than I do, you have enlightened me as well. Hope you will stop by again.

      Posted by Brigitte | July 13, 2012, 8:26 pm

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